One of the most common things I hear from potential Evolution buyers is the question of used vs. new. I recently covered this topic during a conversation with a pilot and by the end, he came to the realization that between gaining the valuable knowledge provided by participating in the build process paired with the many improvements we have made to the Evolution over the last 12 months, a new kit was the only option. Specifically, here’s why:
1. Build your way to being a better pilot. By participating in building your Evolution you really get to know all the aircraft systems in detail. So, if there were ever an issue in flight, you would know exactly what course of action to take. In essence, knowing your aircraft inside and out makes you a better pilot. Plus, the build program is a blast!
2. Garmin G3x touch panel design for all models. We have spent most of the year working to develop a new panel design that takes advantage of the improvement and integration of the Garmin G3X Touch flight deck and is now shipping with all our deliveries. This is in addition to being able to customize your overall interior design and exterior paint scheme.
3. Four engine options to fit your mission. We now sell four different engines to fit any EVO maximizing efficiency for any mission profile. And if you are super adventurous and want to use your own engine package we will sell the Evolution kit without any engine at all.
4. Total revamp of the landing gear. The quality and delivery of our new landing gear is now more robust and more reliable. After difficulties with our gear vendor in 2016, we were forced to rebuild all the fixtures and bring the production of our gear back in-house. While this caused many delays and difficulties in 2016 we are now up to full production. 4.1 We also just completed a review and improvement initiative on the oleo strut with our supplier.
5. Totally new AC system. Once we released the piston version of the Evolution in 2017 we realized that the turbine version of the AC system would not be adequate. We took a look at the entire system and found that we could make improvements for both versions and reduce the overall weight by 12 lbs. Now all kits after 87 are shipping with the new all-electric AC system. Since this new system is all electric it can be turned on when the engine is off to pre-cool the cabin on those 115 degree days in Tucson!
6. New and improved hydraulic system. We spent many months in 2016 looking at the original design of our hydraulic gear actuator system and have now released a completely new version that is shipping in all new kits. It is a simple two direction pump system that makes emergency deployment and operation very reliable. The added benefit of this system is that the pilot is now not required to take any additional steps to the gear will stay secure when in the down position, unlike the original design that required pilot to dump pressure when shutting down.
7. Improved de-ice aerodynamics with joggled wing. The Evolution has always been available with a de-ice boot system, however, the boots used to go on top of the leading edge which reduced speed by as much as 10 knots. In 2016 we made a brand new set of molds with an integrated joggled leading edge for all Evolutions allowing the de-ice boots to install flush maintaining the critical shape of the original wing design eliminating most of the drag.
8. Improved turbine intake. The EVO’s new cowlings come out of totally new molds producing as much as 8 knots increased speed and better oil cooling during the initial climb than the original design. While this upgrade is still available in kit form to existing owners, integrating the new cowling during the initial build process is the most efficient way to gain all of the benefits of the new design.
9. Streamlined build process = shorter timeline. After a thorough review of the build process, we have developed a long list of items that we intend on including in our quick-build program by the end of 2017. This means that when the kit goes to your build assist shop, their team will be able to reduce the build time by as much as two months from the current seven-month norm.
10. Ten full days of flight testing. In the past, we included the first flight and a few days training with the kit purchase. Since now there are so many training options out there we have changed our policy to include a full ten days of flight testing by one of our experienced test pilots. The FAA requires 40 hours of initial flight testing to receive an airworthiness certificate and with proper planning and support from your approved builder, we feel that including ten days of flight testing is a small investment and the best way to make sure your Evolution flies exactly as it was designed to.
In summary, Evolution Aircraft Company’s improvement culture and commitment to innovation result in an ever-improving aircraft. Let us help you build your dream machine!